EQUITY MULTIPLIER Definition

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EQUITY MULTIPLIER (EM) shows the amount of assets owned by the firm for each equivalent monetary unit owner claims held by stockholders, i.e., the equity multiplier measures how many dollars of assets an institution supports with each dollar of capital. If a firm is totally financed by equity, the equity multiplier will equal 1.00, while the larger the number the more highly leveraged is the firm. EM compares assets with equity: large values indicate a large amount of debt financing relative to equity. EM, thus, measures financial leverage and represents both profit and risk measurement. EM affects a firm's profit because it has a multiplier impact on Return on Assets (ROA) to determine the firm's Return on Equity (ROE). EM is also a risk measure because it reflects how many assets can go into default before a company becomes insolvent. The EM ratio is best compared to industry averages. Formula: Total Assets / Net Worth

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OPERATIONAL GEARING is the higher the proportion of fixed costs relative to variable operating costs, the higher the operational gearing. This results in greater business risk. A retailer has high fixed costs relative to variable costs, so has a lot of business risk. See GEARING and FINANCIAL GEARING.

FREIGHT FORWARDER is an individual or firm that provides for the packing and shipping of merchandise. Generally they also assist with export and other documentation.

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